University of Rochester

One of World's 'Most Powerful Thinkers' to Give Talk, Meet with Students

February 10, 2012

Kwame Anthony Appiah to visit University of Rochester

Named by Forbes magazine in 2009 as one of the world's seven most powerful thinkers, Kwame Anthony Appiah will visit the University of Rochester February 21 to 24 to lecture and participate in workshops and group discussions with the campus community.

On Thursday, Feb. 23 Appiah will give a public talk in the Hawkins-Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library at 4 p.m. titled "Islam and the West." The talk is free and open to the public.

Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and director of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He also serves as president of the PEN American Center, a writer's organization devoted to advancing free expression and global literary fellowship, and is chair of the board of the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the author of several books including In My Father's House, The Ethics of Identity, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, and The Honor Code.

Appiah's visit is part of a new program established by President Joel Seligman to bring distinguished visiting scholars and creative artists in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to the University each year."Professor Appiah's work spans the humanities to explore questions about identity, ethics, and race in our increasingly globalized world. He will have a wide appeal to students and faculty across the disciplines of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and beyond," said Thomas DiPiero, dean for humanities and interdisciplinary studies.

While on campus, Appiah will meet with faculty and students from across the University, including the Frederick Douglas Institute for African and African-American Studies, the undergraduate philosophy council, and reading groups of faculty and graduate discussing particular aspects of his work.

"The fact that so many people can hear him speak and have numerous opportunities to interact, consult, and collaborate intellectually with him has generated a lot of excitement on campus," says Cilas Kemedjio, director of the Frederick Douglass Institute. "Having lived on three continents, he is able to examine ethical issues across religions, cultures, and races."

"I think his visit is important because it's a chance for students to speak with someone of such intellectual stature, but also because it's an occasion for all of us to expand our philosophical knowledge," said Maya Dukmasova, president of the undergraduate philosophy council. "It's the most exciting thing that the council has been involved with in my five years of membership."For more information on Appiah's upcoming visit,